Garden needs love, attention
The Matamata Community Garden on Peria Rd was built for a purpose and is sustained by a promise.
The late John Mott was approached by the former pastor of the Union Parish, his and wife Jan’s church, who had a vision for a community garden in Matamata.
Jan said that John took it on, and with both hands.
‘‘He dedicated all his time to it. It flourished and grew.’’
After John became ill, Jan promised him she would nurture the gardens.
‘‘...that as long as I could, with the help of others, I would keep it going until such a time that I can’t.’’
And the fact that it’s still flourishing and John’s hard work is being utilised, means the world to Jan.
‘‘It means everything - cause I know how much it meant to him.‘‘
While Jan loves tending the garden and keeping John’s project alive - it’s still a hard labour - and one she wishes the community would assist in.
She wants the garden to be used, but it’s currently being abused.
At the moment it is watered and weeded by Jan and Marian McCabe, with the church minister watering it as he can.
But it needs more hands - especially over the summer when it’s particularly dry.
‘‘It would be nice if the people who come and take the vegetables could pick up the hose and water it - even just one box and pull up some weeds. It would make it so much easier for us.’’
She said another challenge they face is people cutting the head of the vegetable and leaving the root. There is a compost bin provided for roots and weeds.
‘‘Once the plant is taken, the roots keep growing and it’s a struggle to get them out. It’s just more work.’’ Theft is also a major problem. Potatoes were once planted, but they stopped the supply after they were plundered way before the nightshades were ready.
And they weren’t the only things taken.
Jan says they have been given a hose and reel and an automated watering system, but they can’t be left out because they will get taken.
‘‘Anything we use pretty much has to be tied down, even the hose attachments will go missing.
‘‘I want to encourage people to use it - but look after it, so we can keep it going.’’
Jan Mott loves tending the community garden built by her late husband John, but it’s currently being used and abused.